The Malta Independent 7 December 2019, Saturday

Mother of transgender child expresses ‘heartbreak’ after horrible comments

Friday, 3 June 2016, 09:12 Last update: about 5 years ago

The mother of a transgender child has expressed her heartbreak after comments received by the family following the publication of a book by her eight-year-old Willa, in which she describes her experience transitioning from a boy to a girl.

A day that filled the family with pride, J Bex Naylor wrote on her Facebook page, turned out to be one of pain following insinuations made about Willa.

The Malta Independent yesterday chose to close the comments thread on the story published because of the insensitive comments that were being made.

This is what Mrs Naylor wrote on her Facebook page:

“Feeling incredibly hurt and heartbroken at the moment due to the horrible comments we have received today. We are human and I wish the commentors knew they pain they have drove through us today on a day that should have been filled with pride and happiness.

“We are still proud of her but we are only human and those comments really hurt. How people can say things that insinuate we have made our child this way without knowing the reality of loving and supporting a trans child and all of the struggle, fear, sense of mourning and stress that we went through at the start ... I will never know.

“As well as the suffering our child went through being forced to live a life that was destroying her, rendered her non verbal outside of the home and with such low self esteem she at a point wouldn't even get on the slide if another child was on it let alone speak to the child.

“People see how mature she is and for some reason do not want to accept that she is. I am proud of what she has blossomed into, she is mature, sensible, caring of others, dedicated, courageous and knows herself, all of the things they cannot accept about her but if they had seen what she has come through and from the anxious unhappy shell she has blossomed from maybe they would understand our pride we feel.

“The day we finally allowed her transition was the day we potentially saved her life in so many ways, like many trans children the world over who are being supported, and unlike the many who self harm and worse due to the cruel lack of love and support they receive. I know these comments have happened to other mums I know with trans kids and my heart always breaks for them but I didn't expect this today and it has hurt me to my core. We don't do what we do for attention, wanting a daughter instead of a son, money or anything else said apart from loving devotion to our child living happily as her authentic self.

“Willa is the driving force in her advocacy, James and I get nervous most times with media pieces and often want to not have such a public life but she is a warrior, wise and kind beyond her years and thats who she is, we don't want to stop her being who she is and no matter how hard it is we have been her soldiers in her advocacy because how can we help but do so, how can we help but be proud and behind her to the moon and back for wanting to help others like her the world over and giving up time and a very sensitive personal story in order to do so.

“People should realise this can happen, and for our family it did happen and we jusy had to get our hearts and minds around it and say goodbye to the much loved son we thought we had and welcome to an equally loved daughter she knows herself to be, no matter how we at first struggled with it. I have never before first hand witnessed the courage and resolve that my daughter has and if we had chose to not support we might have lost her in one way or another, and she would still have been Willa, and transgender because thats who she is, she is determined to be her true self.

“She doesn't need a huge vocabulary to tell her story in a childrens book, she knows her feelings and she feels strong enough to voice them, its very simple as she says she made no decision she just knew it, just like her friends her age feel they are girls. But people never question if their girls should refer to themselves as she or cut their boys hair (an event that was heartbreakingly traumatic for the little girl Willa was inside, I had to cut it myself and then cry in the bathroom at how pained she was by it like I had stripped everything away from her with no idea at that point what was happening to her or how to help) its only when a child is trans that they suddenly say knowing your own gender can't be done at that age.

“For her she feels just like any other girl. Just imagine forcing your girls to live as boys or boys to live as girls, I'm sure they wouldn't be happy or confident (like Willa is now) because thats what willa has survived and wants to save others from that. We love her unconditionally. Thank you so much to those who have shown us kindness and support as always and those who are commenting supportively in our defence , you mean the world to us

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